By Lee D. Zlotoff
The Scenario: After an exhausting day of work — that included a tiff with your steady
romance of the last few months — you drag yourself home, determined to put the day behind you
with a few drinks and a couple hours of mindless time parked in front of the tube. You thought
about stopping at the gym, but the car just wouldn’t go there.
So you plug your cellphone in to recharge in the kitchen, grab some munchies and the requisite
inebriants, and assume the position on the living room sofa to slouch toward nirvana. And you’re
just about there — or at least on the edge of dozing off — when there’s a knock on your door.
Thinking it might be your paramour coming by to kiss and make up, you pull yourself vertical to
open the door when … you’re suddenly knocked back into the room by a pair of burly guys who
barrel their way in, shouting things at you that you’d rather not hear.
Scrambling to your feet, you make a break for the back door, only to see a third guy waiting
outside to cut off your escape. Your only option is to duck inside the laundry room, slam the door,
and shove the washer against it with the strength of the adrenaline pump you have going. Fortunately for you, the door opens inward and the hinges are on your side. Unfortunately for you, it’s
a windowless room with only one way in and out.
The Challenge: Your newfound friends are on the other side of that door, working hard to get
in since they seem to know you have a heavy-duty wall safe in your office that they want to “talk”
to you about. The washer may not hold them off for long, and with no landline in here and your
cellphone in the kitchen, 911 is not an option — nor is screaming for help, since the room is well
insulated and your neighbors are just beyond earshot. Which means you’ll have to find another
way to signal for help, or a way to deter these guys long enough that they’ll settle for hauling off
what they can carry, and leave you in one piece. Any ideas?
What You Have: In addition to what was already mentioned, you have whatever else one
might typically find in a modern laundry room — including a working sink. So take a deep breath,
think carefully, and make it work!
Send a detailed description of your MakeShift solution with sketches and/or photos to
firstname.lastname@example.org by Aug. 29, 2008. If duplicate solutions are submitted, the winner
will be determined by the quality of the explanation and presentation. The most plausible
and most creative solutions will each win a MAKE sweatshirt. Think positive and include your
shirt size and contact information with your solution. Good luck! For readers’ solutions to
previous MakeShift challenges, visit makezine.com/makeshift.
Lee D. Zlotoff is a writer/producer/director among whose numerous credits is creator of MacGyver.
He is also president of Custom Image Concepts ( customimageconcepts.com).
Photograph by Jen Siska
170 Make: Volume 14